Prior to a riding aboard one of Mexican low-cost carrier Interjet’s Sukhoi Superjet 100s, Flightglobal took a peek inside the airline’s third aircraft in a hangar at Mexico City Benito Juarez International airport on the eve of its entry into service.
The aircraft, registration XA-JLV, arrived from Venice on 7 November and still had the majority of its 93 seats wrapped in plastic less than 24h from its inaugural flight to Manzanillo on 17 November.
Interjet plans to use SSJ on “mid-density” routes from its hubs in Guadalajara, Monterrey and Mexico City, according to its chief executive Jose Luis Garza. He told Flightglobal in August that the aircraft was, for example, suited for the Monterrey-San Antonio route whereas it flies a 150-seat Airbus A320 on the Mexico City-San Antonio route.
The airline has not suffered from any of the technical hitches that other carriers, notably Aeroflot, have suffered. Garza told Airline Business on 15 November that its first two Superjets have achieved a 99.02% technical dispatch reliability.
“The good thing about this aircraft is that it’s built by the Russians,” says Diego Hernandez, SSJ fleet supervisor at Interjet, prior to boarding SSJ-operated flight 3863 from Mexico City to Mazatlan on 17 November. “It flies like a fighter. It’s very responsive.”
The SSJ (XA-IJR) sailed through clear skies during the 76min flight over western Mexico. The engines were quiet – generating the steady hum common of most modern jets – the flight smooth and the cabin comfortable.
The forward belly camera was displayed on the cabin video screens, allowing passengers to watch the approach and landing in Mazatlan.
This Superjet flight went off without a hitch.